OM AH HUM
VAJRA GURU PADMA SIDDHI HUM
Most stories start with once upon a time;
But some stories are never on time.
When I started this, Meghna was only three.
She hadn’t even walked yet.
Pankaj always used to say, “Life is a
poppat. Poppat maina tota, tota maina poppat maina parrot…” I wonder why he
Meghna met Pankaj over the garden fence
when they were both four; which is when I lost the desire to know more.
Kalyani, my wife, never liked Mohini, Pankaj’s maternal familiars because she
wore three bindis instead of the usual one. Their bickering always came down to
that. And this… of course. The rambling of mad men is never pleasing.
It all began when Chacha told me something
“The Jews have been talking wrong all these
years, or maybe we’ve been listening incorrectly,” he said one afternoon over
“It’s not ‘yaa way’,” he drawled,
enunciating clearly, “It’s ‘yuh wuh’… this and that...here and there. We forgot
to worship the time we live in… craving always for tomorrow and losing respect
“Jah,” I said.
Chacha introduced me to Kalyani at Anup’s
house last June. He and Norah had just moved into this picturesque barsaati in
Defence Colony; with a new Maruti in tow. Chachu and Chachi, or rather Manu and
Suhita, always kept a firm grip on things, being Meghna’s god-parents after
I may have fallen in love with Kalyani only
because she is a chemist. A childhood crush on Chachi having transferred itself
to another healing woman.
Siddharth and Tyagi Baba have just returned
from their monthly sojourn to Haidakhand. “Meeting trees with memory really
unlocks your perspective,” says Siddharth taking off his socks and stretching
his toes. Tyagi Baba nods knowledgably. “Nothing is not evil,” he says
mournfully. “But some things are, no?” asks Siddharth sagely.
Tyagi Baba laughs. “What are things?” he
asks back, even more sorrowfully.
Getting drunk is getting painful. Saw a
Sardarni being raped and butchered, all with the same knife while I hid behind
the curtain. Drank... threw up… drank some more… kept drinking. Now all I see
1955, Bardez, Goa
My cycle’s got another flat tyre. Bizarre!
Thought I had told Filsu to fix it… although the boy at the pump did a pretty
fine job of it. One thing I’ve always learnt from children…is that energy is
rampant and infectious. It never grows old... after all what are we but
existence in consciousness... or rather within.
I forget how old I am some times and maybe
that’s not such a bad thing. Filsu keeps telling me to act my age. How can you
act out an age?
Chachi’s just back from the front. She’s
been nursing the 6th Paras in China. Amazingly
amidst all that sabre-rattling, she found a dealer in medicinal herbs. Now she
plans to take on big pharma.
Meghna’s learnt a new word from Pankaj and
Kalyani is none too pleased. She’s been yelling ‘bhenchodh’ every five minutes.
Chachi tells Kalyani to wash Meghna’s mouth with soap. Meghna yells bubbly
‘bhenchodhs’ throughout the house.
Kurt Baba and Tyagi Baba have hatched a
plot to drive me insane. And I can’t, for the life of me, figure out what it
is. They keep talking about nothing and finger pointing bodhisattvas
everywhere. Kalyani wants to kick them out of the house for a month now as they
keep pointing at her breasts and repeating, almost trance-like, “One is where
we come from, one is where light comes from.” She wants to know where they come
And I’ve completely forgotten.
Sahej and Sarab have come out of the
closet; mighty brave of them in this age. Kalyani says I need to come out of
the closet too. I’ve started doubting the sense memory of my penis. Sex with
Kalyani has never been a bugbear. She wants it, I provide it; when she doesn’t
want it, I flog it…or play some drums. Basketball is good yoga too.
I forget how old I am.
Miss Ismail from across the street came by
with Mohini to return Chachi’s pressure cooker. It was a nice Sunday till she
showed up with a broken handle. Kalyani told her to wear it like a helmet and
get out before she threw a book at her.
“Milarepa, Padmasabhava,” I said. She threw
the book at me instead.
1962, Bardez, Goa
Being from Goa has its perks…it’s never a
holiday, it’s always a homecoming. And being with good friends and trusted
family is that added flavour to the sorpotel.
Lots of the crowd are getting jittery with
the change in power; the ham radio operators are on over time after a few
fenis. Bob tells me to ignore the leaders and follow parking meters. Maybe it’s
an American thing. I tell him to go to Benaras and try and find a parking meter
Kalyani kicks me under the table, her eyes
saying I shouldn’t be telling people where to go and how to get off. That’s her
job. Being a Brahmin is hard work.
I’ve been trudging through this muck with
the boys for weeks now. We all have leeches on our heels. Except for the
phoenix Lakhwinder saw in the marsh three days ago, it’s been a pretty boring
war. Surjeet says the ‘phoenix’ was really a peacock on fire. We scoff. He
protests, “But the peacock also has the consciousness to transform its self.”
Lt. Stephen orders him to wash his mouth out with soap and stop listening to
Beethoven so much. Sgt. Francis rolls his eyes.
Chachi says my underwear is too shabby.
Chacha thinks they’re pretty durable. Mum and Dad don’t care, so long as I wear
a belt. He gives me one that he says he got from China.
Chachi slaps him. “I got that for you,” she snarls.
Why do we make it so hard on ourselves?
It’s only appearances for Chrissakes! Oh well, dance with the girls and wrestle
with the boys, like my grand-dad used to say. “We’re all experience in
consciousness,” he would boom. And grand-ma would tell him to go wash the
We’re so bound by meaningless words. It’s
Shambala is always possible with fearless
mothers who lack nightmares. Maybe Chachi’s seen too much at the front.
There was also that fling she’d had then
with the army truck mechanic. Chacha chose to ignore it till he found out the
mechanic’s real time profession was dealing in medicinal herbs. Things were
cool after that, for quite a while.
1932, Natal, South Africa
Mohandas has some big ideas but I think
he’s too much of a dreamer. Like black will ever shine... ass.
“A donkey is a very sensitive animal,” he
responds eloquently, “they commit suicide if badly treated.” Kalyani tells him
to get off his high horse and have lunch. Politely, he asks not to be yoked to
our family’s conundrums. Kalyani grins widely at him and shovels more rice into
his plate. It’s always the college friends that are the thickest. Rajneesh is
another whacko. Kalyani thinks the four of them – Kurt Baba and Tyagi Baba
included – should just get a room and shag each other. Rajneesh seemed excited
at the prospects.
Another hail storm today; Tenzin almost
lost his shirt. Thankfully I had Chacha’s Chinese belt. “What is with the
memories of trees?” Tenzin asks Tyagi Baba. Tyagi Baba laughs mournfully and
shakes his head with sorrowful joy.
“Leaf it,” he says.
“Not knowing …is also knowing,” he adds,
passing the chillum to Tenzin.
“Trees don’t take each so seriously,” he
adds some more, guffawing madly.
“Everyone wants to be Buddha, but not be
themselves,” he says solemnly, winking at me, “Two thousand years have taken
“Draupadi ki Shakti you mean?” asks Tenzin
exhaling a cloud of smoke.
Tyagi Baba looks distracted. “What are
these cavities in space?” he asks a passing spider.
Pankaj has been name-dropping again. This
time he’s trying to lure Meghna to go see Michael Jackson in Bombay. The world
will cry when that man dies.
Kalyani and Chachi were talking about him
the other day. “Now that’s how black shines,” says Chachi sagely. “Really?”
“Please release me,” I warble. Kalyani
gives me a kick. “Wrong singer, fool,” she says. I’ve forgotten how old I am.
Past life therapy is so regressive.
Chachi’s brother, Samrat Uncle, is a big practioner. His biggest client,
Randolph often pimps gullible customers for him. “It’s all about shade,” says
Samrat Uncle cryptically. Randolph nods sagely. “Removing the asshole is the hardest part,” he says
passing me a beer, “criticism is ingrained.”
“What’s wrong with shit?” asks Samrat Uncle
“I finally found my purpose in life,” I
What’s that?” they ask.
“Clean up,” I say.
“Yeah, right,” they laugh.
“Wash your arse with your right hand no…” I
“Ambidextrousness is inborn,” says the
sense memory of our genetic monkey.
“Oh God!” says Samrat Uncle.
“Jah!” says Randolph, “That
bitch is still on our backs.”
“Addicted to tradition, are we?” I ask
“It’s not like nothing happened,” says
It’s all magic now... a penny for your
thoughts and a trunk of gold for your dreams. London has come to Bombay and Calcutta has
The fine dance of consciousness has begun.
Praise be to HPB and the Church of Mary.
Finally maybe soon people will see why.
Finally soon people will remember the land before their countries.
Maybe we’re done with the imposed
sacrifices and wisdom will reign in the four horsemen of the apocalypse.
Everything is just blowing in the wind.
The eternal footprints of the star signs
have begun to fructify. Take that and chew your cereal with it. What is up,
And when we learn that ‘bastard’ is really
anupadaka – the parentless energy which births worlds, we will forget abuse and
stop cursing each other.
Lionel says it’s not possible. Tyagi Baba
doesn’t care and Kalyani would rather get a pedicure. A generation is being
destroyed and everyone’s forgotten that trees also dream. Vladimir wants his
bomb, Moammar can’t get enough of the boobs and Indira is still alive. Everyone
wants to be the lead character without understanding the story of everyone
Rani Ghose chose to be where the wind is.
But the Gobi is where there’s too much of it. Searching for the soul of Genghis
is hard work with not a drop of gin to drink. But then she’s never been an
alcoholic; her flow is different.
The last thing I remember was Baldev
howling at the picket. Cops have never had it so hard. And we’re making it
harder for everyone in uniform to clear their perspective. From ‘convent’
schools to clergymen to cops… the damage is certain, but then like Tyagi Baba
says, “Every disease has its cure.” Dad tells him to suck on an amla.
“When the atom asks itself, ‘who was the
photon?’ what will happen?” asks Kurt Baba blearily.
“What’s wrong with your body?” asks Kalyani
“I want magic... real jadoo,” he says
Chachi tells him to sweep the terrace.
“Kalki’s cavalry is all in our heads,” he
responds, picking up the broom.
Kalyani shakes her head and dances out to
her yoga class.
Mukul and Imaad tell Tyagi Baba to chill.
He can’t stand the silence they create.
Mum tells them all to listen to Chachi.
“Be relentlessly fearless,” says Chachi,
“Like a bumblebee in a windshield wiper.”
The lucid chain of reason is being brought
to its conclusion.
Mowgli will never look at Kaa the same way
again. Now that he knows that being brought up with wolves has destroyed his
affinity to tigers. One day he will swallow Orwell too.
The ship to Timbuktoo left without being
booked and the jaundiced European doesn’t know what hit him. When Hitler saw
stars, he was in the ghetto. Andre tells me to wash my mouth with soap.
Abhay says laughing is all it is.
Mayank can’t care less
Dad says to join his business
Enough with the rivers of fire already
We have forgotten the baolis.
Norah says to come away with her
Anup couldn’t agree more
Chachi couldn’t care less
Tyagi Baba wants to know where
I can’t wait
Vladimir says to go for it
And then the deluge walked in the door
Even the banyans bowed their mighty heads.
Tshering walks in to see what’s up; he
thinks I should go to Kalimpong. Amitabha wants me to go to Somnath. Maybe I
should clone myself
Barack says if I stop calling him a
chicken, he might actually do something about it. But I can’t help myself,
‘barack’’ is what a chicken says. “Wrong,” he says, “that’s a frog’s call.
The garden of Gethsemane is
growing again and the kibbutz is coming home, as the crow flies, as the grace
Tyagi Baba disagrees. “Grace has always
been with us. Television’s sped us up too fast; we haven’t been able to allow
Chachi’s trash is about to become the
The train to Asansol is chugging out of
Siliguri and none of the Japs are getting off. The flames of wrath are being
stoked by powers that wannabe. Hitler thought he was a vehicle when really he
was a puppet.
The world will have to live with this
wretched war propaganda. When will we learn to cool it? I hope the next
maha-kumbh throws up the next crop of bodhisattvas.
Already women are being lured to don
cosmetics tested on fearful animals. I don’t know that will affect their heads.
Two thousand years have taken its toll.
The madmen have decided they want to
harvest our genitals. This is taking ball-grabbing to a whole other level. Don’t
they know their own families will have to pay for this wanton destruction? The
world is theirs too. Shame on you Sanjay, Jagdish and Kamal…
I’ve drunk my wine and listened to many a
whine; still it is not yet time to cross the Rhine. Hitler saw stars in the
ghetto. Kapil Dev says I should stop writing.
The microwave war is hotting up and there’s
an electric sword growing out of my right fist. Maybe it’s the force from Star
Wars, but the again it’s probably my erupting Achilles’ heel coming out finally
…now that fearless mothers are being eroded by cosmetics and beauty magazines.
2016, Buenos Aires
We’ve forgotten the music of flies and the
sound of the Holy Whun. But then again, meeting born-again buddhas is a quite a
relief; maybe they will remember the old songs; because the fearless mothers
are forgetting their knuckle blessings.
The world is home when we go with our stars
and allow others to as well. We’ve forgotten how to read each others’ stories
and have strayed from oneness.
Vladimir says we’re good to go, and Barack has reined in his frogs.
Burn my voodoo doll please. When did we
become grammar Nazis?
I forget how old I am.
2021, San Palermo
When the horses of fire race around the
vast mountain of cool, they will forget their manes, names and all turn lame.
Our generation is seven years old and we
still have not reined in slavery. When did work become ‘naukri’? Who told us we
are born servants?
When Tyagi Baba said to eat his body and
drink his blood, he really meant he wanted us to chew his mind not turn into
The Sound of Music has jailed us to only
think in scales
The destruction of nature is steaming along
and we are clueless. Garth Brooks says country music is three chords and the
truth. Ruth Powell disagrees: “Music can’t be so ruthless,” she says. The
automatic vision of the unborn will lead the way when we allow the mountain to
be captain and commander. The tragedies of partitions will transform into
time’s tumescent lingam.
The death of Kalimpong will bring the rise
of Vishnu because the end is only a bend in the river of karma when Shakti
comes back to life.
When the architects of the lost worlds
return their protractors to the ladies, reality will trump destruction. Dad has
always been a silly boy. I raise my toast to destruction and ask it thanks. Red
means listen not stop or relax and definitely not rage.
And now Indira will sing her heart out
beyond full stops. The repository of story does not belong to one person or
chemical, however much banks will try and convince us.
Feelings in space are always disrupted by
kittens because in the stream of consciousness we often forget we are boatmen
Vladimir says to look to the Aegean instead.
The candidacy of millions to the job of one
has been consigned to the dustbin.
Pickles is the cosmos, Odie is a volcano,
Chikori is the harsh desert while her daughter, Goofy is the bulging ocean.
Lucky is happy being spring time. They guard my parents’ door. Bambooli chooses
to be with the wind instead; maybe she knows Rani Ghosh from a previous life.
I burn the bridges, they slam the doors;
even the windows are just two-way mirrors. Vandalising futures lead us nowhere
and the Kwai remembers that. The war of the roads leads us to the knights of
the crosses because what you say to cats bounces back at you nine-fold.
2015, Buenos Aires
The heart and bad food tell you not to go
that way again. Vladimir says you
can kill him but never consume him. Tyagi Baba agrees whole-heartedly.
When Betsy became a car and mankind began
loving its fake horses, one scratch in rush hour leads to dented and painted
Property destroys propriety; even the
sphinx wears a hoodie.
We’ve soaked up Meru because conversations
are unbound circles; just like karma.
The ego and guilt of previous existences
are hangers-on in the living room of our memories. Tango on a tangent instead through
the everlasting sale of toughness. When Rani Ghose said she knew the wind, she
wasn’t breaking it.
The murderous rampage of illicit ideas will
uproot the mushrooms of love. The space between is for story tellers to
dictate, even though Hitler also was one.
Friends are separate entities that we trust
because they own our memories when substance abuse destroys our ability to see
through the purple tales.
I am strapped into a place I don’t
understand. Or maybe it’s just the space and this endless circle of rebirth and
re-questioning. When will the answer to Godot’s mysteries manifest? Or are we
trapped in this continuous chaotic existence in the quest for nothingness?
With feet stretched out on open ledges,
toes dangling into the void, Padmasambhava laughs at his selves.
Expiry dates of rape cases are pending
inquiry still. A five year old girl was raped with a candle and a bottle of oil
for four days by her neighbour today. The savagery of destroyed animals has finally
entered the human psyche. Jai ho to the British Raj and schizophrenic maharajas
now that Mowgli has been unleashed.
Being deliciously half deaf means I get to
savour every word I think you said.
While the voices in my head keep up the
running commentary of bored spectators. As far as I can tell its two guys and a
girl who keep up the same bored awed banter of whatever I think.
The second I ascribe them to people I know,
they get stronger; my equation with those people loses or gains strength by
this association when I change the person I ascribe each voice too. It can get
quite entertaining in the quiet times.
then they are the clowns in my head who make me believe I’m the ringmaster of
my life. Did the first Egyptians have the same hallucination?
My prehistoric war club is the gear-stick
to parallel universes when not masquerading as a door-stop. The ghosts have
departed but the animals remain. My head has never been clearer; but still
shiny floors remind me of upskirt shots.
Dubstep is sound saying ‘stay humble and
dance’ while radio jockeys think they are all Kalki.
What is difference between fame and
remembrance? Padmasambhava has outlived his 15 minutes now that Arnab has taken
over. People so want things to be ‘over’; as if life was a war or a Ram Gopal
Hitler saw stars in the ghetto and Mitterrand
said “folie à deux” to that.
Rafting is not an option on Saraswati when
she is in spate; you need your own yacht with Shakti TM navigation. Of the 641
unwritten stories I have in my head, maybe this one will fart its way out as
the metaphysical electric shield on my left arm envelops my memories.
The strength of Varanasi is untold;
the staccato stories of yesteryear, of places, spaces and lost races. The
captured wheels of time’s DNA will unwind through the water.
“Blue begets blue with me and you,”
whispers the Ganga gratefully.
Kurt Baba says its time to play the drums,
twirling his shiny moustache. I whistle at the birds instead.
Once it is all out, the raven will knock
back a cold beer
Tyagi Baba says to wink at Sharad and
remember where my mother came from.
Tickets on loan are never cheap; democracy
failed the republic when the rule of the home was corrupted. The rage of the
jalopies continues unabated. India
should quit the pits and enter the fruit because without seeds, where will we
Mowgli, please meet Milarepa.
Banish Kipling to the dark side of the moon;
he can sulk with Syd and allow Kalidas to warble again. The poverty of
ignorance sends shivers down my spine.
“When in doubt, dance,” says Milarepa.
Nalanda agrees, Tagore giggles to himself
in the reeds, masturbating his mind away.
The errand boys of justice and dharma are
realising they’re the berserkers to the way to the Krita.
I forget how old I am.
Atal whispers, “Atoot!”
Manali is never far from my heart. Now even
Nicholas is chuckling quietly to himself.
Driftwood sounds like rushing water or
maybe that’s the air-conditioner; engineering conditions for nowness is never
easy. “Yuh, wuh, jah,” says Chacha.
Trees are mansions to lost souls but
Vikramaditya says to chill, all they do is nag,in between the guiding.
I’ve exorcised the sword in my fist thanks
to some other vibrational sentience. Now to free Kunti from British cursing
because looking at books is hardly worth the effort without burning them all.
Sita and Draupadi are better off stringing
the bows; and not just on wedding gowns and curtains of the mind. They also
know a stitch in time can save some dignity.
Press your fingers to your chin and take a
good shit because words are dumping grounds for experience but almost never
wisdom. The value of education has been lost, much thanks and grace to
We can all exercise jugaad when ganja is
legalised for responsible entrepreneurs. “BRIC by BRIC ooh babay, we’re gonna
go solarrr…,” sings Meghna. “Where did this word ‘god’ come from, papa?” she asks.
The emancipation of gud or the sweetness of
humility and creation will only occur when the British acknowledge they’ve been
complete twats by losing everything in translation;
And all of this over pepper, bloody pepper…
Bholenath’s sense of humour is intact.
“When everyone is a storyteller, the space between is gud,” he whispers.
“Keep distance and use dipper at night,”
says Tyagi Baba.
Mohandasda and the King just did a back
touch handshake alleyoop and flipped the world. Cassius stung the Caucasians and
called them ‘brother’ but Bob insists on Desolation Row because of Madurai and Murphy.
And then three billion Robin Hoods rained
an arrowstorm into Murphy’s Laws.
The parrots of doom say, “Its only mood
baby, go back into the marsh with your assorted monsters.”
Alcohol beggars self-belief when the
over-dynamics of time begin to make nonsense.
‘Rascal!” says Tagore and Icarus changes to
fibre instead, because the exit is the elixir.
“Meru is Kashmir,” states Tyagi Baba, “If
the Buddha were alive today, he’d be begging for film funding.” When there are
so many of them, why do we make the same mistake twice?
Great minds don’t think alike if they’re on
the same page, because they read different books.
When the Sphinx lost its nose, the Jews were
none too pleased.
When we remember the intelligence of gamma
rays, the lint from our navel will disappear.
Voice boxes are not the only radiation of
the heart, because we are still feelings in space.
The British must pay for binding us in
their schizophrenic stories; and then Mowgli will know Sher Khan is really
Shakti; and rebel panthers have lost causes; and lazy bears belong in private
Swallowing antidotes of cod liver oil to
alleviate the roadways of acidity through the system of perpendicular
holocausts will always bring about strong reactions.
I forget how old I am.
The silence of the deeps still calls those
who flow with their own time.
The illiterate are not ignorant of spaces,
places and faces;
The young are not ignorant of races, cases
The fresco of Padmasambhava continues to
Michelangelo was also a dolphin whose
brushes surged through the colours of infra-red, gamma, microwave, x-ray,
ultraviolet and mustard prawns.
The last ride of the Valkyries will be fuelled
by great food; but where are the chefs, the green-grocers and clean butchers?
The last lobotomy of wannabe powers has
begun and Dick Cheney will also fly out with the flame-haired warrior queens
when they ride out to meet the Annunaki.
When the electric giants return, only
fearless mothers will be able to serve them tea.
Keeping it in the family for generations
has warped the way we read stories; we’ve forgotten we are the twelve tribes of
the zodiac, lost under a haze of our own pollution.
“Yuh, wuh, yah,” says Chachi.
“Finally you agree with me,” says Chacha,
“But we’re still not on the same page.”
“I’m all over your book,” says Chachi, “And
you’re worried about a page?”
Chacha digs his nose and looks at Tagore
who walks out in a huff.
Cavities in space
Gaps in nothing
Falling through rising
Might as well
Walk down this road
It’s not so swell
But it takes the load
Might as well
Climb that tree
There’s no fee
To ring the bell
Fist full of beggars
In your heart
Grab your soul
I see you
Look through you
As do you
My racing cheetah chariot
Derails your roaring lion
Pankaj is insisting that this story needs a
beginning, middle and an end.
Tyagi Baba gives him a banana;
Kurt Baba gives him an orange;
Chachi gives him a tight slap;
Meghna kisses his cheek. “How’s that for an
ending?” she asks.
“Ends are only bends in the river of life,”
“Please don’t repeat yourself,” says
“What’s the difference between lying and
using your imagination?” I ask.
“What’s the difference between ambition and
farsightedness?” I ask again.
When Chachi unleashes her imagination, we
know what kind of water we live in because there is no pride in accomplishment
if it is not part of the river of dreams.
“Even trees dream,” says Tyagi Baba.
“But they don’t write,” says Anup.
Meghna dances into the way.
The burping of incessant ways of rhyme
firms up my head to derived conclusions.
But the callousness of confusion has left
it all untold.
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